Monday, April 15, 2013

Eminent Domain

Antonio Andrade
FIN 180
MW 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
Eminent Domain
            Eminent Domain has been a subject that arise interest in everyone mind when they start to learn what it means. According to the California Eminent domain Handbook, “‘Eminent Domain’ – also called ‘condemnation’ – is the power of local, state or federal government agencies to take private property for ‘public use’ so long as the government pays ‘just compensation.’ The government can exercise its power of eminent domain even if the owner not wish to sell his or her property”. Federal government’s power to apply the eminent domain clause has long been used in the United States for economic development activities and public good reasons. Some of the main uses of eminent domain include: transforming neighborhoods, revitalizing environmental places, or making new forms of transportation for the public use.
            This term has been applied since the English history under the Magna Carta. Daniel P. Dalton states that “the Magna Carta limited the absolute power of the English sovereign to take land, but it did not require payment for compensation” (Dalton). Article 39, under the Magna Carta, established that only a jury or state legislator had the right to determine when to take a property from the owners and prohibited the monarch from taking any property (Dalton). During the colonial times, many colonial governments took private property without any permission or compensation. During the Revolutionary War in the United States, colonial government confiscated or took private property for the use of the army and other military reasons, often without advising the owner (revolutionary). Taking any property without any consent was an issue that caught the attention of the founding fathers, and later created clause that would prevent this from happening. The founders knew about the abuse of the eminent domain so they established a clause under the Fifth Amendment that prohibited the government from taking any private property for public use without compensating the owner (castlecoalition). James Madison, who proposed the Eminent Domain, believed that people have the right to own property and government at all times should protect that right; however, Madison also believed that government could take that property for appropriate use (revolutionary).
             When government takes a private property for any public use, they must pay the owner the exact value of the property according to the market value. The government uses methods of the real estate valuation to calculate the price of the land acquired; it is a misconception to believe that government only pays what they want for a property (Szypszak). Currently the government has been using that property for revitalizing communities, housing development, improving quality of life, and improving the environment. Currently, the government has been facing a great controversy regarding the use of Eminent Domain in California. In order to build the High Speed Rail in California, the government must acquire a certain amount of land using the Eminent Domain Clause.
            Eminent Domain is a controversial topic for the people of the United States and for the government. Many people might think it is unfair that government can have the right to take peoples’ property. However, under the Fifth Amendment, in order for government to acquire any property from the citizens of the U.S they must give compensation to the owner of the property. The compensation must be the current value estimated according to the Market value.
Works Cited
"The California Eminent Domain Handbook." The Power of Eminent Domain --. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
Dalton, Daniel P. "A History of Eminent Domain." N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
"History of Eminent Domain and Its Abuse | The Castle Coalition." History of Eminent Domain and Its Abuse | The Castle Coalition. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
Szypsxak, Charles A. "Ten Common Misconceptions about Eminent Domain." N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
"What Is TheEminent Domain Clause?" Revolutionary War and Beyond. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

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